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Windswept – Main Skier Dies in Mount Washington Avalanche

Excerpts from the article by Lala Dinsmore and Peter Crane

Gulf of Slides Avalanche Rescue Cache

...a pair of skiers climbing up the Gulf of Slides Trail were caught in an avalanche on February 20, around 12:45p.m. David McPhedran, 42, of Kents Hill, Maine and Aimee Reiter, 27 were caught in a massive snow slide. Ms. Reiter was buried waist deep, but was able to free herself and attend to her friend. McPhedran, however, had been buried face down and Reiter experienced some difficulty removing the snow covering his head and body...

...on the day of the slide, "high" avalanche danger warinings had been posted next to the AMC Visitor Center for Tuckerman and Hungtington Ravines, just north of the Gulf of Slides, and weather conditions were typical of those fostering avalanches. "High" avalanche danger indicates that avalanches are likely to ve triggered by both natural and human agents; in such circumstances, travel is not recommended. Though the Gulf of Slides is not patrolled, and thus not posted, by the snow rangers, cautious skiers and climbers would generally assume that the Gulf of Slides was at least as hazardous as Tuckerman...

...climbers or skiers in the Northeast should understand that even the "little" mountains found here can present enough avalanche hazard to take human lives. There have been serous avalanche incidents in other Northeast locations that Mount Washington including accidents on Mount Adams, at least one fatality on Katahdin in Maine, and day before the most recent Gulf of Slides accident, an avalanche in New York's Adirondacks killed one and injured five skiers...


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